He enlisted at the age of 18 as a soldier in the 14th Infantry Regiment. Appointed sergeant, he received his strip of midshipman on August 8, 1914 after a brief stint at the officer school of Saint-Maixent-l'École.
Second lieutenant then lieutenant, he commands the 10th company of the 30th infantry regiment. He ends the First World War with the stripe of captain, 4 citations and one wound.
In 1919, Alfred Cazaud returned to Saint-Maixent-l'École for a year to complete his studies as an officer cadet. Assigned to Morocco then to Tunisia, he was promoted to battalion commander in 1934 and was assigned to the Foreign Legion in 1938.
He took part then, as chief of staff of the 13th demi-brigade of the Foreign Legion, in the battle of Narvik in 1940. Arrived in Great Britain on June 21, 1940 with the whole of the Norwegian expeditionary force, he rallied free France. He was appointed chef de corps of the 13th demi-brigade of the Foreign Legion with the rank of lieutenant-colonel.
At the head of his unit, he took part in Operation Menace then in the Eritrean campaign where he led the 1st grouping of the French Orient Brigade (1st Foreign Legion Brigade and 3rd Company of the Motorized Infantry Battalion ) under the orders of General Monclar. The attitude and commitment of his unit during the battles of the Battle of Keren, Massaoua and Asmara will greatly contribute to the Allied victory in this battle.
On June 25, 1941, he was promoted colonel and took command, in September, of the territory of Lebanon.
Appointed brigadier general in October 1941, he commanded the 2nd Light Division in Syria and, in April 1942, the independent brigade in Libya. In August 1942, he returned to the territory of Lebanon until February 1945, when he took command of the 36th infantry division at the head of which he ended the war in Germany, with the rank of major general.
He will remain in the occupying army until 1946, when he chooses to pass into the second section of general officers and withdraw to the Tarn.
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